Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy Mardi Gras! Happy Super Tuesday! Galactic Bonnaroo 2002

photography by Casey Flanigan

Hey everybody, hope you are either voting for a presidential candidate or celebrating Mardi Gras, or both. When I think of Mardi Gras I immediately think of Galactic. This story doesn't take place on Mardi Gras, but I wanted to share it with you today in any case. I have seen Galactic quite a bit over the years- I think that the most fun I have ever had at a Galactic show was the late night Bonnaroo set from the first Bonnaroo, 2002.

You can listen to the whole show for free at nugs.net.

The story to the show goes a little like this:
That year Panic played 2 nights, both Friday and Saturday nights. On Friday night we saw Panic and then headed over to the late night tents. We caught a little of Karl Denson's Tiny Universe and The Keller Williams Incident on Friday. At both tents there was a lot of energy, but we were towards the back of the crowd because we were a little late getting out of Panic. On Saturday we decided at Panic setbreak to head over to the tent where Galactic would be playing to rest, get a good spot, and munch on some 'shrooms.

My buddy Scott and I were laying down in front of the stage and there was literally no one around (no homo). It was kind of nice to chill out for a moment after being around so many people all day- and we could still hear Panic playing on the main stage.

A few minutes after we got there a girl named Paula comes by and introduces herself. She looks to be in her late 20's, and explains that she is a professional concert goer. She has glitter all over and is barefoot. My kinda girl. Paula produces a brand new white bedsheet from her backpack and spreads it out on the ground and invites us to lay on it with her. Now, as I am sure you understand, seeing something so fresh, white, and clean at a dirty festival when mushrooms are coming on was really quite a sight.

Paula spread the sheet out right in front of the middle of the stage and explained that many people will want to dance on it; but we were part of her team. We were allowed to dance on the sheet too, but we must keep the rif-raff off the sheet. We were the bouncers and the fairy must have her dancing space.

The set began with a Mardi Gras parade onto the stage. Complete chaos and energy. There were many costumes; at one point there had to be 20 or 30 people on stage. I could not stop laughing at that point for about 20 minutes. The first set was a guest fest- The "Big Bottom" (Spinal Tap) with Claypool was hilarious. Overall we did a good job fending off the wookies and frat boys that would try to come in and dance with Paula on the sheet. It was a fantastic idea to have room at the front staked out.

The second half of the first set is still some of my favorite Galactic to this day. Metermaid> Wurlirich> Size It Up> Rapper's Delight> Let Me Clear My Throat> Just Kissed My Baby> Whole Lotta Love is fantastic, even including Houseman.

The second set was what I now call an old school Galactic throwdown, and it ended at 4:20 AM (no joke). I remember being worn out after the show but walking over to see Particle for the first time at 5am and watching the sun rise over the campgrounds. An amazing night indeed.

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